Quote of the Day #2 – 4.20.09

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I spoke too soon.  Sorry Atrios!  The real quote of the day comes from Jane Harman (D–Calif.), caught on tape during an NSA wiretap:

“This conversation doesn’t exist.”

You just know that any conversation that ends this way can’t be good.  Here’s the backstory from CQ:

Rep. Jane Harman , the California Democrat with a longtime involvement in intelligence issues, was overheard on an NSA wiretap telling a suspected Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department to reduce espionage-related charges against two officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful pro-Israel organization in Washington.

Harman was recorded saying she would “waddle into” the AIPAC case “if you think it’ll make a difference,” according to two former senior national security officials familiar with the NSA transcript.

In exchange for Harman’s help, the sources said, the suspected Israeli agent pledged to help lobby Nancy Pelosi , D-Calif., then-House minority leader, to appoint Harman chair of the Intelligence Committee after the 2006 elections, which the Democrats were heavily favored to win.

Harman vigorously denies that anything of the sort happened.  Conversely, CQ reports that not only does the conversation exist, but that then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales stopped the probe of Harman because he wanted her support for the NSA wiretapping program, which was under fire at the time.

Juicy!  So I wonder who leaked this?

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"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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